Q: Verdant Plant Mechanic makes 3D plants – what if I don’t know 3D?
A: You can modify existing plants pretty significantly just by changing textures and branches widths and heights, the trunk, and other variables – so you can start with a full tree or plant and turn it into something else just through experimentation.
Making plants from scratch does require some practice, but you don’t need to understand 3D modeling and rendering to do it at all.
Q: Where can I get good plant textures?
A: You can get them from the web, take them yourself, or buy a textures CD. WorldBuilder has a lot of plant textures in it. If you own WorldBuilder you can use those textures. Digital Element will also be shipping a series of texture CDs to make this process a lot simpler. Digital Element has both commissioned digital shoots at botanical gardens and occasionally bought the rights to textures over the internet.
Q: I am told beginners start off modifying existing plants – where can I get them?
A: VPM comes with 6 plants on it. Verdant for Photoshop comes with over a dozen more plants. Digital Element also has plants for sale, such as the Arizona plant pack. Verdant plants are less expensive than competing plant technologies.
Q: Where Can I Use Verdant Plants?
A: Unlike some companies, our Verdant plants work in all of our plugins – so you can buy or build a plant and use that same plant in WorldBuilder, Maya, SoftImage, Max, and Photoshop. Each of these plugins comes separately.
Q: What formats can VPM export to?
A: 3DS, LWO, OBJ, DXF
Q: What kinds of plants can I create?
A: Using the Visual Modeler Layout you can create almost any kind of plant you want to. We use the tool in house for making fruit, vegetables, trees, bushes, flowers, and more.
Q: Can I use Verdant Plants for Computer Games?
A: Currently, plants from VPM can be exported to OBJ and of course the Max Maya and XSI plugins will translate the geometry into host-product-native formats. Digital Element is working on a realtime plugin that will make this all easier and provide levels of detail, damage states, polygon reduction, and more.
Q: I am a 3D modeler – why use Verdant?
A: A general modeling program can model anything. For most people, however, creating realistic plants that animate in the wind can be time consuming. Verdant makes this simple with its SoftImage, Max, and Maya plugins that perform wind animations and more. Also, Verdant plants are procedurally generated, so if you want a lot of bushes and flowers and you are using Verdant they can all look different.
Q: Is Verdant Plant Mechanic Easy to Use?
A: VPM has four modes of use. Each is targeted at a specific skill level. The basic level, Plant Render View and the Wizards requires no skill in 3d modeling or even Photoshop. Other modes offer more versatility and require different skills.
Q: Is VPM for Mac and PC?
A: Verdant for Photoshop is already for the Mac and the PC. We plan on releasing a Mac version of VPM in autumn and a Mac version of the Maya plugin sometime thereafter.
Q: So if I just own VPM, what can I do with my plants?
A: Well, owning a Verdant plugin or WorldBuilder will increase your versatility dramatically. However, you can export to OBJ and 3DS as a solid model. The model, though, will lose its ability to randomize or be modifiable by VPM thereafter.
Q: What makes Verdant plants different than Max or Maya Models?
A: Verdant plants are dynamic, so that once you create one Oak you can get a lot more Oaks without additional modeling. Also, Verdant handles wind animations and specializes in this so it will look more realistic. Finally, VPM is faster than traditional modeling.
Q: Can VPM make grass?
A: Grass is as much about placement as it is about geometry. True 3D grass through Verdant is obviously possible, but not too feasible since it is a lot of polygons and good looking placement is importanr. If you need real 3D grass take a look at WorldBuilder, which is optimized for re3D grass and has some advanced placement conditions.
Q: How much can I change a plant with just the easiest to use Plant Render View?
A: You can change textures and the length, width, size of all of the parts. You can also bend leaves and branches and change how many appear.